Fox Execs Explain Why Joss Whedon's Dollhouse Is Built On Sand

They've finally come out and admitted it — the top suits at the Fox network just plain hate science fiction. And yet they keep greenlighting it.

An interview with Fox Chairman Peter Ligouri and President Kevin Reilly was more revealing than they may have intended. They talk, in general, about the network's ratings struggles. And then there's this exchange:

Q: Many people were surprised that you didn't put Whedon's "Dollhouse" in one of the post-"Idol" spots, instead opting for the relatively sleepy zone of Fridays. Why put such a buzzed-about show on that night?

Liguori: It's a night where there's not . . . a lot of competition. So we're able . . . to allow the show to grow.

Reilly: By nature, this show has a particular kind of audience. That's just what Joss does. You could say, why "Lie to Me" (on Wednesdays) after "Idol"? I think that's a broader show. You don't want to put in something with more of a sci-fi bent.


The good news is, they intend to "allow [Dollhouse] to grow," meaning that it won't get axed if its ratings aren't stellar right out of the gate. (But a second-season pickup may be a challenge.) But the bad news is, they're coming out and saying it: they don't think "something with more of a sci-fi bent" can win over a big audience. Especially not if it's "what Joss does."

Meanwhile, Lie To Me, which sounds like a clone of the vapid but ultra-successful Mentalist, is destined for greatness. Sigh. [Boston Globe]

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